With the third fastest time of two hours, 3.38 minutes which he posted in Berlin in 2011, Makau will be the centre of attention when the gun sounds in Fukuoka, Japan, Dec 7. "In Fukuoka, I know there will be Martin Irungu Mathathi running. He is the champion and I have never run against him before. But I am not training to beat him, but the course and any other opponent that will be there," he said.
Mathathi will be defending his Fukuoka Marathon title but a lot of eyes will be on the performance of Makau. Also returning are Kenya's surprise 2012 champion Joseph Gitau, but the Japan-based runner was beaten into second place last year by Mathathi, and, of a slightly earlier vintage, Ukraine's 2005 winner Dmytro Baranovskyy. With places at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing at stake for the Japanese team, as Fukuoka is one of four races being used to decide the Japanese team for Beijing, there is considerable domestic interest as well.